What is your Debt Repayment Style, and more importantly how will that affect your future?
Take this short quiz to find out–Write your answers on a piece of paper and add up your total at the end to find out if you dominate your debt or if you are letting your debt dominate you!
- A-1, B-3, C-2
- A-3, B-2, C-1
- A-1, B-2, C-3
- A-3, B-1, C-2
- A-2, B-1, C-3
13-15 points: Fast and Fierce – If your scores landed you in this category, congratulations you are on a path that will soon make debt a distant memory! You know life will be better without debt, and you are taking the steps necessary to eliminate it as quickly as possible. Keep throwing as much as you can towards each debt—one at a time—and watch yourself knock them out quickly!
8-12 points: Motivated without a Map – If your points combined brought you into this area of middle ground, you hope to get out of debt sooner rather than later but are lacking a solid plan. Sometimes you make excellent informed decisions that will help you eliminate debt more quickly, and other times you choose to plead ignorance as you follow in the footsteps of many debt-burdened people who have walked this path before you. You have an internal conflict of interest—you can either choose to accept that debt will be an unfortunate part of your life for tens of years, or you can choose to live below your means now, join the nerds and energizer bunnies who are “fast and fierce”, and focus on debt intensely for a small portion of your life so you and your family can live free of financial burdens for many, many years to come!
5-7 points: Crippled and Clueless – If you found your total score placed you in this category, you’ve got a serious rain cloud of debt hovering over your head, and although it’s annoying, you’d rather stand beneath it with a holey umbrella than walk a couple of blocks to get out of the rain completely. Not only does accepting debt as a way of life stress you out mentally, emotionally, and financially, it stops you from having the freedom to partake in many of life’s great adventures. Getting informed and motivated will help get you out of this funk. Check out our posts on motivation and getting started for some go-getter ideas!
Now that you have determined your debt domination style, it’s time to look into our crystal ball to see the HUGE impact it has on your financial future, I have used a debt calculator to display how 3 different debt repayment plans can begin at an identical starting point and finish in dramatically different places.
A recent college graduate is starting her new life with $50,000 of student loan debt. Her minimum monthly payments are $400, and the loan has an interest rate of 7%.
If you are still skeptical about paying your debts off as quickly as possible, take a look at the bolded portions of the tables that highlight the drastic difference in amounts paid towards interest and years of your life spent owing someone money. Because of the work we do on the blog, I look at these hypothetical debt situations all the time, but it never ceases to blow my mind how much money is wasted when only minimum payments are made on outstanding debts!